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Maldivians enthusiastically vote to elect next president

English.news.cn   2013-11-09 13:56:19            

A man casts her ballot at a polling station in Male, capital of the Maldives, Nov. 9, 2013. The voting to elect the next president of the Maldives began here on Saturday after months of infighting and delays. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

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MALE, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of people lined up outside polling stations in over 200 islands to elect a new president for the Maldives here on Saturday.

As many as 470 ballot boxes have been set up for voters who were seen enthusiastically exercising their franchise at the start of polling.

"It is a relief to finally vote after so many delays. We hope that this time it will result in a president accepted by all," Hilmy Waheed told Xinhua after casting his vote.

This is the third attempt being made to elect a president after two previous attempts were derailed by political infighting.

The first round of polling on Sept. 7 was annulled by the Supreme Court after allegations of mass scale vote rigging.

A second attempt to hold elections on Oct. 19 was called off hours before voting was to begin after police refused to distribute ballot papers and boxes to 200 odd islands.

Maldives election officials are scrambling to be ready for a landmark two rounds of polling this weekend ahead of a crucial Constitutional deadline on Nov. 11.

The two candidates that poll the most number of votes on Saturday will head for a second round run-off on Sunday with the winner to be sworn into office on Monday.

Member of Elections Commission Ali Mohamed Manik told reporters that the ballot papers to be used in the second round of the presidential election, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 11, have been sent for printing.

Speaking at a press conference, Manik said that the ballot papers used in the second round will contain the names of all three candidates despite the fact that only the top two candidate will be eligible for the second round run off.

The polls on Sunday were moved ahead from Nov. 16 to meet a Constitutional deadline of Nov. 11 when a new president must be sworn in.

Related:

UN calls for long-delayed Maldives presidential poll to be held this weekend

MALE, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The right environment for free and fair elections do exist in the Maldives, insisted a top official of the United Nations here on Friday, dismissing a secret police report used to annul a previous presidential poll on Sept. 7.Full Story

Maldives presidential candidates agree to hold delayed polls on Saturday

MALE, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- All three Maldives presidential candidates have agreed to hold presidential elections a week early on 2 November to avoid a Constitutional void, local media reported here on Monday.Full Story

Maldives presidential front-runner Nasheed facing possible life threat: supporters

COLOMBO, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Maldives presidential front-runner Mohammad Nasheed's Office on Friday alerted the country's Defense Ministry on a possible threat to his life.Full Story

Editor: Mengjie
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